Northeast Ohio is full of beautiful trees that often turn vibrant colors as the seasons change. In this area, you’ll see many fruit bearing trees, blossoming trees, and tall, strong trees that offer enormous amounts of shade for homeowners. But once a mysterious disease starts to take over, you may be left with unattractive trees throughout your yard. We’re here to discuss 4 of the most common tree diseases in Northeast Ohio and how to spot them.
#1 Apple Scab
Apple scab is a common tree disease among the crabapple trees. Apple scab is caused by a fungus and can easily spread throughout the tree and to other crabapple trees. This disease generally appears in the spring when the rain and wind are able to transport fungal spores.
This tree disease is relatively easy to spot. When attempting to identify apple scab, look for these characteristics:
- Brown circular spots on the fruit that generally appear in the spring
- The circular spots, or “scabs”, will be sunken into the fruit
- The fruit will likely have cracked skin
- Surrounding leaves are also affected by apple scab and will appear twisted and deformed
- If a fruit is affected early on, it will likely drop before it should
- Matured fruits that are infected can develop scabs after picking
If you are unsure if your tree is infected with apple scab, contact a local Certified Arborist. These professionals will be able to diagnose and treat common tree diseases like apple scab.
Another common tree disease in Northeast Ohio is chlorosis. This disease is caused by a lack of chlorophyll, which is the green pigment that plants synthesize from the sunlight. This gives the plant its green color.
Chlorosis is relatively easy to identify. Lack of chlorophyll causes the plant's leaves to yellow. This is a telltale sign that your tree is suffering from chlorosis.
There are several reasons that your trees could be lacking chlorophyll. These include:
- Deficiencies of certain nutrients in the soil
- Compact soil or soil with poor drainage
- Tree root damage
- Pest damage
- Use of harmful chemicals or herbicides
A Certified Arborist will be able to diagnose chlorosis and offer a plan to help the tree take in more chlorophyll.
#3 Maple Tar Spot
Maple trees are a popular tree in Northeast Ohio, so it’s not surprising that maple tar spot is a prevalent disease. Maple tar spot is a common tree disease caused by a fungus. In the spring, wind and water carry the airborne fungus to the maple trees.
As its name suggests, maple tar spot is easily identified by black spots that resemble tar on the maple leaves. As the disease worsens, the spots may become larger and raised. The tree may eventually drop the leaf in response to the stress.
Fortunately, maple tar spot will not kill your tree. While it may be unattractive, the disease does not enter the tree's vascular system and therefore cannot kill the tree. Even if the maple tree starts to drop its leaves as a stress response, you can rest easy knowing that your tree is not in danger.
#4 Fire Blight
Fire blight is another common tree disease in Northeast Ohio. Fire blight is caused by a bacteria that thrives in warm, humid weather. It is usually spread to other trees by heavy rain or wind, but can also be spread by pollinators, or even pruning blades that aren’t disinfected between trees. Fire blight is a very destructive, easily spread tree disease. Fire blight most often affects fruit trees (especially apple and pear) or blossoming trees.
There are several signs to look for when deciding if your tree has fire blight. These signs include:
- Cankers on the bark of the tree that often look discolored or wet
- Dead leaves that look burnt
- Drooping twigs or branches
- Brown, decaying fruit
- Weeping wounds on the tree bark
Fire blight is a serious disease that unfortunately has no cure. But there are ways to control the disease and keep surrounding trees from becoming infected too. Hiring a professional to diagnose and treat fire blight is highly recommended due to the aggressive nature of the bacteria.
Certified Arborists Can Treat Common Tree Diseases
If you suspect that your trees are suffering from a disease, we strongly recommend calling a Certified Arborist. Here at Rogue, we will be able to identify common tree diseases and provide a plan to treat the tree. We’re highly trained and ready to improve the overall appearance of your trees and yard.